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New York City Sights

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Updated 02/25/2014

Fodor's Review

Art enthusiasts and novices alike are often awestruck by the masterpieces before them here, including Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and van Gogh's Starry Night. In 2004, the museum's $425 million face-lift by Yoshio Taniguchi increased exhibition space by nearly 50%, including space to accommodate large-scale contemporary installations. The museum continues to collect: most recently it obtained a collection of Occupy Wall Street screenprints. In 2013, the museum inspired heady debate as to what constitutes art when it acquired a selection of video games and consoles and created a new category of artworks in MoMA’s collection. One of the top research facilities in modern and contemporary art is housed inside the museum's eight-story Education and Research building. Note the room housing Monet's popular Water Lilies triptych is closed for renovations as of spring 2014.

Highlights

In addition to the artwork, one of the main draws of MoMA is the building itself. A maze of glass walkways permits art viewing from many angles.

The 110-foot atrium entrance (accessed from the museum's lobby on either 53rd or 54th Street) leads to the movie theaters and the main-floor restaurant, Modern, with Alsatian-inspired cuisine.

A favorite resting spot is the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. Designed by Philip Johnson, it features Barnett Newman's Broken Obelisk (1962–69). The glass wall lets visitors look directly into the surrounding galleries from the garden, where there's also a reflecting pool and trees.

Contemporary art (1970 to the present) from the museum's seven curatorial departments shares the second floor of the six-story building, and the skylighted top floor showcases an impressive lineup of changing exhibits.

Tips

MoMa's new Audio+ app replaces the traditional audio guide with a free mobile guide that allows visitors to listen to audio commentaries for selected artworks, and to access, share, and save additional content. An integrated camera allows visitors to take pictures, which are saved along with everything else viewed in the app (as well as your route) for future reference. Audio+-enabled iPods can be rented at the museum or the app can be downloaded from MoMA's website.

Tickets are available online (moma.org) at a reduced price. Entrance between 4 and 8 pm on Friday is free, but expect long lines. Free Wi-Fi service within the museum allows you to listen to audio tours as you wander through the museum (log on to www.moma.org/wifi with your smartphone). With so much art on display, it's hard to remember that the MoMA has three movie theaters. Film passes to the day's screenings are included with the price of admission. Tickets to MoMA also include free admission to its affiliated PS1 in Queens. Don't worry; you won't need to trek out to Queens on the same day. Save your ticket and you can go in for free any time within 30 days of your original purchase. Grab a quick bite at one of MoMA's two cafés—Cafe 2 and Terrace 5, or dine leisurely at the upscale Modern. In summer there is gelato in the Sculpture Garden.

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Sight Information

Address:

11 W. 53rd St., between 5th and 6th Aves., New York, New York, USA

Map It

Phone:

212-708–9400

Website: www.moma.org

Sight Details:

  • $25
  • Sat.–Thurs. 10:30–5:30, Fri. 10:30–8

Updated 02/25/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

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Dec 14, 2008

Best modern art museum anywhere

This is arguably the best modern art museum in the world, with no shortage of anthology level canvases and arguably the strongest quality to quantity ratio in a museum of this sort. Pleasant sculpture garden, too. The $20.00 cost is horribly expensive even under these circumstances, though, and it's not a "suggested" amount either. Still, go anyway -- it's the best of its kind there is.

By gordeb

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Jul 22, 2008

Fantastic!!!

It was pouring rain when we slipped in. Started at the top and worked our way down. Brilliant!! Especially Monet.

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Jul 17, 2008

Best Modern Art Museum in the World

Fabulous collection,concerts on weekend evenings,great restaurant

By Paula

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Jul 18, 2005

Spectacular Exhibits

The "new" building on 53rd is now open. When we visited there was a spectacular exhibit showing similar works by Cezanne and Pisarro side by side. The permanent exhibits are also well worth viewing (particularly the paintings). We had a quick and delicious lunch (cold sesame noodle salad and seared Ahi tuna) at the cafe on the 5th floor. It was less crowded than the cafe on the 2nd floor and although it looked expensive at first, the food was

outstanding. The admission to the Museum in now $20 for adults, but that also includes any films or special programs offered the day of admission. We only stayed 2 hours (but the special exhibit was worth the price of admission for us. The best value would be to pick a day when you can spend at least 3 hours in the exhibits and see a film while you are there !

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